The Albion

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Seeing large serves going out as we walk into the Bistro proves deceptive,
Barramundi – Death by cream and
The Brady House lives on!

2808e8ab8d2ab861e3e0ed883cfa9f55Diners today we were at The Albion Hotel, on Churchill Rd in Kilburn

I was a little apprehensive I must admit. I just wasn’t sure this was the type of place I wanted to be going to.
I’ve never been to the Albion so my hesitation wasn’t based on anything concrete.

Turns out I should have listened to my intuition.

Walking in, it seems like an average type pub. There is carpet. There is a salad bar.
The thing I loved most about The Albion is that they have all day dining every day! I wish more places did this!
The staff were smiley and friendly.I certainly couldn’t fault that!

We walked past the kitchen as we entered and saw a couple of pasta plates about to go out and they looked like pretty decent serves! I was excited!
It didn’t mean, unfortunately, that the other dishes were large serves. I should have gone with the pasta…

I kind of liked the fake brick wall and mirror. With the light fixtures in the background it reminded me of the Brady House.
I didn’t go into the outdoor area however it looked like there was a nice space out there with a bit of greenery to make it pretty for those choosing to drink or dine outside.

Although I’m not a fan of salad bars, I have to admit that the selection they had here was pretty good. It was smallish, but they had the favourites. Lots of roasted veggies and the bread was toasty warm! Nice.

Because we had the salad bar, we decided to skip an entree and just order a main.

Hubby chose the Pork – King Henry Pork Cutlet 300g parmesan crusted with stir fried bok choy on mash & red wine jus

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I can’t say I was wowed by the presentation. It just looked like a bit of meat thrown on top of some greens. Hubby was soon tucking into it though and I could hear lots of “mmmmmm’s” so he was enjoying it.
He said there were great flavours throughout. He even enjoyed the Bok Choy which is not normally a favourite of his.

I decided to go for the Barramundi. Australian Wild Caught Parmesan Crusted Barramundi  on baby spinach & lemon parsley cream

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I wish I’d chosen the pasta.
All I could see when it was placed in front of me was that sauce. Manu from MKR  would have loved it… at least he would have loved the amount…
The Barramundi was drowned in a heavy cream sauce. It was so thick and a little gluggy.
I’m not a fan of heavy creamy sauces and I didn’t think, whatever was in this sauce, matched with the crumbed barramundi.
I couldn’t even eat the spinach as they were soggy in that sauce.

I didn’t think the prices that were asked for these dishes, matched what we received. Each dish was $27.90 but that did include the salad bar as well.

I wonder if the serves are small because of the salad bar?
Could be…
Even though the total experience wasn’t terrible (and again I want to say the staff were very friendly and helpful) it would probably take a lot of convincing to have me visit this place again.

Have you been to The Albion?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below

 

 

 

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The Windsor

Today on the Dining Diaries…

 

It’s been a long time since I was the youngest person in a dining room,
We suspect the salad bar was filled with leftovers from the nursing home down the road and
An odd combination of flavours turns out OK in the end.

front3Hello Diners and I’m sorry to say this will not be a stellar review today. The team dined at The Windsor Retirement Home.

Probably our biggest dissatisfaction came from the fact that they are heavily geared towards Seniors.
The reason we came here in the first place was that hubby had been hearing ads on AM radio for The Windsor and how they had just renovated etc etc… The ad also mentions they have a salad bar – but hubby didn’t reveal that to me until we were actually entering the establishment…

Now in hindsight, there are two red flags there. One, the ad was on AM radio and two, they have a salad bar. I’m sure the Windsor is a wonderful place for seniors to gather and if you are one and want to give it a go, you’d probably love it, but I’m NOT a senior and I wish we had gone with our instincts and left – but we didn’t so here is the review.

img_6999First the good. It has a big clean dining area (with carpet).
I’m really struggling to come up with more. The food wasn’t terrible but I’ll get to that later.

So we grabbed a couple of menus and took a seat. The server had also told us “Specials are on the board” but the board was blank. Hmmm, I think that could have been another clue  for what was to come…

The menu was ok. Hubby and I chose a couple of items and I went to stand in the line of seniors to order and pay. The line grew longer and longer and didn’t move. I tried to see what was going on at the start of the line and discovered an elderly gentleman was disputing the price he’d been charged. You see the Windsor have a regular menu and a Senior’s menu. Apparently there was an issue because he’d ordered a Parmigiana and there was a two dollar surcharge for that. At least, I think that was the gist of what I was hearing. It just went on for ages then another server came over to explain the charges to him and the line just got longer and longer.
Nobody apologised to those waiting in line and no one moved us over to another register so we could order while the man continued to dispute this two dollar charge.

Finally I ordered and went to sit back at our table. That’s when I realised I was actually the youngest person in this place.
Hubby and I went to check out the salad bar and it was pretty average. Lots of mushy things in there – things that don’t need a lot of chewing.

Our mains looked pretty good when they came out. Hubby ordered the Windsor Stack – Layers of crumbed chicken on papadams with tzatziki and sweet chili sauce.

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Hubby said that it was a little weird at first because there was a pappadam with chili sauce and tzatziki – flavours that you normally associate with different cuisines but he really liked it. He said the chicken was cooked well and all those different flavours made it really interesting to eat.

I chose the Vegetarian Frittata – topped with tomato and grilled cheese.
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When it came out I thought they’d brought me out a chicken parmigiana! And I have to say that the topping was the best thing about this dish. The tomato and cheese were just delicious! The frittata was ok – It just didn’t seem to have the right consistency. I’m not sure I would have liked it at all if it didn’t have that grilled cheese and tomato on top. It was a generous portion so I was happy with that.

Hubby and I ate quickly and were eager to leave as we just felt so out of place. I could almost imagine seeing nurses and  carers coming out of an invisible nurses station to assist the remaining diners with their food and take them back to their rooms.

Have you been to the Windsor?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

 

Seacliff Beach Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We get Schnitty’s on the cheap,
We get Cider on the cheap,
We discover that when assessing food quality, value for money saves the day!

Hey Diners, today we were at the Seacliff Beach Hotel. A pub that is situated on the esplanade at Seacliff.
Anyone who’s been here can attest to the perfect location, especially in Summer when the sun and surf glisten in the background as you sip your wine or beer.

We have been to the Seacliff many times, but usually on the weekend. Today we were drawn here because of their Thursday night special – Two Schnitty’s and a cider for $30. Now that’s value!

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We walked in from the ground floor. There seems to be a stark difference between the ground and top floors. The ground floor is carpeted and devoid of atmosphere. It seems to attract an older crowd.

 

njouvipv9nnqbcmwiqmdThe top floor, even when not full of people, seems to have an entirely different vibe. Warm wood, exposed brick, noise, relaxed and a much younger clientele. There’s also a fireplace however even on this cold night, it wasn’t lit which was a little disappointing.

The top floor also has a balcony where you can take full advantage of those glorious views. There is heating out there so you can dine in comfort even during the colder months.

We noticed that a lot of diners both upstairs and down, had ordered the schnitty’s so they must be a popular draw-card.
We ordered a chicken schnitty with mushroom sauce and a beef schnitty with no sauces and took our jug of cider to the table.
You have to admit, that is amazing value for thirty dollars!

The food came out within minutes after we sat! At least, it felt that quick.

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Hubby had the chicken schnitty and he had no complaints.

 

You can’t really complain for the price.

 

He said the chicken was thick and moist and the mushroom sauce was very creamy. In fact, his exact words were that his dish was perfect!

 

He really enjoyed it

 

 

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I went for the beef schnitty and it was probably exactly as I was expecting.

The meat was a little tough however again, for the price, I’m not going to complain and I would even order that again.

It was not premium chef quality but it was perfectly acceptable for a weekday pub meal and very filling.

Interestingly enough, if you look at the two pictures of our schnitty’s you may notice that the salad on my plate was double the size of the salad on hubby’s plate.
It was kind of strange that no one noticed that and they allowed that to go to the table like that. It almost looks like someone has half eaten his.
He also had loads of dressing in his where mine had hardly any.

I have been to this place quite a few times and never been wowed but they haven’t done anything overtly wrong either.
It’s a great meeting place for locals.
I’m sure I will continue to enjoy the Seacliff whether it be Winter or Summer because there really is just something about the place that draws you.

Have you been to The Seacliff? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below,

Till next we chow…